Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Sunday, 15 May 2011

GIRLS ON BIKES: Outlier's Daily Riding Pants.

My obsession with bikes and what girls choose to wear for riding theirs (in most cases, nothing remotely cycling-related) shows no signs of cooling off although, I must admit, the two dozens of Boris bikes stationed 3 minutes from my house have helped in eliminating the desire to actually buy one! Thanks, Boris. So, most days you will find me and my red satchel on a funny-looking blue bicycle riding downtown through Regent's Park.

I was pretty excited then to see these daily riding trousers (yes, I stuck to the American 'pants' for the title) from Outlier on Jo's blog. Made locally in New York City, Outlier's designs are focused on clothing to cycle in but in essence, they're classic American sportswear designs.

"We firmly believe that the bicycle is the best form of urban transit for the 21st century, and our clothing is designed to make that fact even more true. Your clothing should work as well on a bicycle as it does on the subway or in a car, without shouting to the world "I'm a cyclist." We are a clothing company first, not a cycling company. But we're a clothing company that designs simple, good looking and hard wearing garments for a world where bikes are a part of your daily life."

I love these Riding Pants and I'm keen to get a pair and try them on. I like the seam detailing that instantly brings to mind classic jodhpurs but their skinny cut makes them modern and really, a great alternative to skinny jeans. Oh yes, and even my most trusted pair of skinnies doesn't feature a "self-cleaning nanosphere treatment" which ensures that "coffee, wine and dirt roll off with ease, keeping you looking fresh and clean in the trickiest of situations" or a "Schoeller Dryskin Extreme fabric" that looks elegant, yet repels water!

I think my Boris bike will like these!

All images by Outlier.

BLOG BLESS AMERICA: Miss Piggy Does 1982!

Oh yes, readers - she did! I had no idea Miss Piggy did calendars in the Glorious Eighties (although that's not to say I'm surprised she did!), let alone pose in them with Kermit as Great Lovers Of The Silver Screen, as they did in 1982. Needless to say, I want this and as a quick search on Ebay brought up nada, nothing, a big fat zero, I have a feeling tracking one of these babies down will not be easy. Let me know if you see it anywhere, will you please?

Now, the below image may just be on the best I have ever laid eyes on and I feel that I need to own it in print, framed and keeping me company by my desk. Because when things don't go to plan or when no clear plan even exists I just want to look over at Miss Piggy and Kermit as Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall and know that all's good in the world!

And as Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve as Lois Lane and Superman...

...as Ginger Roberts and Fred Astaire...
...and yes, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy in Grease!

I love you, Miss Piggy!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Francophilia: Yves et L'Amour Fou.

Reading the Q&A with director Pierre Thoretton in the New York Times' T magazine has got me even more excited to see L'Amour Fou, the documentary on the relationship between Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé as seen through the sale of their mouth-watering art collection. Not that further encouragement was necessary, you understand, but I've always been particularly interested in Monsieur Bergé and intrigued, not alone in this, by his decision to let go of their art collection right after Yves's death.

What also got me excited about L'Amour Fou is the rare footage the director has included of a giddy and young Yves Saint Laurent facing Bergé's camera and delivering his answers to his Proust Questionnaire (Bergé's voice can be heard asking the questions). You can see the clip here.
I will not even attempt the pointless task of rounding up the sheer talent and genius of Saint Laurent here but the interview did bring back memories of the seminal YSL retrospective exhibition that I saw in Paris last year (and never posted about, well done me!). If the sign of a master, in any field, is having a design stand the test of time and appear as relevant and desirable decades later as when it originally appeared then Monsieur Yves is The Master of them all. I even managed to sneakily take some pics (forbidden at the exhibition) and face the contempt of two chic but formidable French madames, (whose advanced age stopped me from responding) who confronted me in front of the Mondrian dress! Paris, you never fail me, I though, offered them a smile and moved on.

The giddy young Yves of the Proust clip is really a sight to behold, in sharp contrast, of course, to the older, frail designer taking his final bow in 2002. And so is the even younger Yves on the clip below, appearing at the US television show What's My Line in 1965, to promote his perfume Y. So pretty, chic and sweet - and so hilarious in retrospect to hear the presenter praise the young Yves and wish him success with the perfume. "He might go places, this kid", you can almost hear him think. And he did, Monsieur. He really did!

L'Amour Fou trailer by IFC Films, What's My Line clip by CBS, YSL exhibition images by moi.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sartorialisms: Tommy's On It!

I've expressed my love here before for Tommy Ton's pretty well honed skill at spotting (ahem!) the little details that make a look unique and set it apart from others just-pulled-off-the-runway; the way a belt is buckled, a shirt half-tucked in, the personal heirloom dangling next to the season's must-have. And here we have it again - this is the season for spots, you say? Spots I - via Tommy - give you!

Images by Tommy Ton.